Insofar as The Federal Reserve is a seemingly opaque government agency making decisions about monetary policy that few really understand, it is a perfect target for populist political rhetoric. Like this from yesterday:
"They're keeping the rates down so that everything else doesn't go down," Trump said in response to a reporter's request to address a potential rate hike by the Federal Reserve in September. "We have a very false economy," he said.
Setting aside the wacky Trumpian phrasing, it is not terribly difficult to see a few logic nuggets in the word stew. Sure, the seemingly endless low-rate environment has created a new generation of Americans unable to remember a time when money wasn't cheap, bequeathing a reality to Janet Yellen and her backup singers in which raising rates becomes a high-stakes game of policy Jenga. Slide too hard on the tiniest whiff of a percentile increase and the stock market quivers and shakes. The Fed has put itself in a tight spot, and that - we think - is what Donald is trying to say here.
And throwing shade at The Fed is totally cool if you're a developer in the private sector (even if you're a developer with weird hair who literally feeds on debt and would be utterly f@cked if rates actually rose) it's pretty odd to see the presidential nominee of a major party tee off on the Federal Reserve during a general election. This was not lost on Hillary Clinton...
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticized Republican rival Donald Trump on Tuesday for making comments about Federal Reserve policies, which she said should be off-limits for U.S. presidents and presidential candidates.
"You should not be commenting on Fed actions when you are either running for president or you are president," Clinton told reporters on her campaign plane. "Words have consequences. Words move markets. Words can be misinterpreted."
Especially when those words are "We have a very false economy" because that is pretty much etymological nonsense.
Obviously, both parties are injecting a bit of their agendas into this "debate." Trump would much prefer to see a stock market in turmoil and Clinton rather needs the economy to hold steady. But when it comes to her criticism of Trump getting The Fed out his mouth, Hillary went a step further in her statement and borrowed a page from her opponent's playbook.
"He should not be trying to talk up or talk down the economy, and he should not be adding the Fed to his long list of institutions and individuals that he is maligning and otherwise attacking," she said.
Hillary knows full well that most presidents have a lot to say about The Fed, but by painting Trump's disses on J-Yellz as another symptom of his personality, she's essentially saying that this shit is complicated and you can't just whiningly insult your central bankers when the economy doesn't do what you want it to do. This isn't like stiffing the architect of your golf course clubhouse because one of your faux gold urinals failed to flush.